This oil-free and gluten-free cake has a custard-like base and an airy top. It is lightly flavored with matcha and is a more nutritious alternative to regular cakes!
Experimenting with healthier desserts has always been a fun and challenging hobby of mine. I wanted to make a low-fat and gluten-free cake to accommodate specific diet needs. Making a cake gluten-free can be challenging since gluten contains strong protein strands that form the structure of a cake. However, there are several alternative ingredients that can provide structure such as eggs and cornstarch, which are both gluten-free! This yogurt cake is quite unique because it has 2 textures, a custard-like bottom and a light-airy top. I love the contrasting textures as it adds to overall taste and appearance.
The cake is lightly flavored with matcha green tea powder which is optional. I also added roasted chestnuts on the bottom for fun but that is completely optional as well! You may opt to omit the matcha and chestnuts to make a simple vanilla yogurt cake, which would taste great when topped with some berries.
This cake is very light and doesn’t have the denseness from oils as a typical cake would. It also has a higher moisture content so steam will emit during the bake. The cake should rise quite a lot in the oven and collapse slightly after taken out. Do not underbake the cake, as it will be a mushy mess. If the top is browning too quickly, simply add a piece of foil over the top. This recipe yields a 6 in. cake and I use Fat Daddio’s pans option 1 or 2. I prefer the springform pan since it helps with removing the cake. I recommend Jade Leaf matcha and Kiss me Organics matcha. Both are great for baking and drinks.
What is gluten-free?
Gluten-free is a term that has been floating around the food world for some time, and many people choose to be gluten-free without actually knowing what gluten is. It is a protein found primarily in wheat products, which eliminates foods from breads, dumplings, and pasta to even soy sauce! It is unknown whether eliminating gluten from the diet can actually improve health, but it is known that many people around the world have gluten allergies, intolerance, of Celiac’s disease. Anyone with these conditions should reduce gluten consumption or avoid it completely (Celiac’s). This cake is perfect for anyone with gluten intolerances.
Yogurt Matcha Custard Cake
yield: 6 in. cake
total cook time
- 4 g. or 1 tsp. matcha powder
- 10 g. or 2 tsp. milk (any milk works)
- 150 g. or 3 large eggs, separated
- 30 g. or 2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. granulated sugar
- 250 g. or 1 c. plain Greek yogurt , whole milk
- 2 g. or 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
- 35 g. or 3 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 g. or 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3 g. or 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 g. or 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
- 35 g. or 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
- chestnuts for decor, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together matcha powder and milk until a paste forms. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, use an electric beater to whisk the 3 egg yolks and 30 g. sugar together for 5 min, until whiter in color and frothy. Add in the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and matcha paste and whisk for 1 min.
- Sift in the cornstarch, salt, and baking powder and whisk for 1 min. until fully incorporated. Set this mixture aside,
- In a medium bowl. whisk the 3 egg whites with an electric mixture for about 30 sec. Add in the cream of tartar and add half of the 35g. granulated sugar and whisk for 1 min. Add the remaining sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.
- Fold the egg white meringue into the yogurt batter in 3 batches with a spatula. Do not overmix! 30 folds should do.
- Line the bottom with chestnuts, if using.
- Pour the batter into a 6 in. pan lined with parchment paper on the bottom and around the sides. The parchment paper should go above the pan sides since the cake will rise.
- Put cake in the oven in the middle rack and turn the heat down to 340 F. Bake for 35-40 min. IF the cake is browning too quickly, place a piece of foil over the top at around the 25-30 min. mark.
- Remove cake from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 15 min. Remove from the pan and dust with powdered sugar.
*Nutrition facts are estimates. Label contains facts for cake without chestnuts.
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